Monday, February 25, 2008
**** new release list no. 155
Well it’s Monday, and tomorrow the new releases are put on the shelves, and guess what? None of them were nominated for an Academy award. That seems sad to me. So many of 2007’s lauded films are not out on DVD yet, but when they come, we will have them in bulk. And some of them we will have on Blu-ray. Does anyone own a Blu-ray player? I got the discs, yo.
Some random thoughts I had last night while watching:
* John Stewart has better writers on THE DAILY SHOW.
* Katherine Heigl should stick to the silver screen.
* I should have gotten a babysitter for my kids.
* Marion Cotillard is awesome!
* For some of the winners, this will change their entire lives.
* Some of these guys are so jaded it is sickening.
* Johnny Depp is really, really cute.
* Ditto for Cate Blanchett.
* Was that a hefty bag that Tilda Swinton was wearing?
* Classy move to bring Marketa Irglova (ONCE) back on after they cut her off.
* Although I don’t really like Russell Crowe, shouldn’t he have been nominated for something this year? I think he was fantastic in 3:10 TO YUMA.
* SURF’S UP got robbed by the hype machine of RATATOUILLE, and if you don’t believe me, you should see it. It is funnier, has better music, and has amazing surfing footage. `
* When are these wild looking foreign films going to become available?
* The Coen brothers are truly artists and I hope they continue to “play in their corner of the sandbox” for a lot longer.
* If you don’t think it is tremendously meaningful for these huge stars to win these awards, just look at the frozen faces of the losers as they applaud the winners.
I had THE DARJEELING LIMITED as release of the week before I saw it. Then, I dropped it into the pack. It is not that it stinks. Not that at all. With the writers, director and actors involved in the project, that would seem impossible. It’s just that the story was lacking that special something that provides, meaning provokes thought and establishes itself in your mind. The shots, the colors, the music, the wardrobe, all the Wes Anderson milieu that you’d expect is present, but somehow the narrative feels more like a sketch than a story and you never reach too far into the minds of the characters. Owen Wilson has perhaps the biggest role in the film, and maybe that is the problem. He’s clearly skilled and frequently a brilliant comic foil, but I am not sure it is within his skill set to play a dominant dramatic role. Adrien Brody, however, is a revelation. In fact for me, as someone who is not very familiar with his work, his performance was fascinating. I plan on dotting the i’s and re-discovering his earlier work which I imagine to be dynamic.
I also watched DEATH AT A FUNERAL this weekend, with a small role (no pun intended) acted by the inimitable Peter Dinklage (THE STATION AGENT). This is no Academy award winning film, but it is a movie that knows what it is: a little goofy, snarky comedy. If you are looking for some mindless humor, that will make you laugh, but not make you think, this may be the film for you.
Some short store news: The D Skin experiment is over for the time being. Aaargh. I really hoped these things would be fabulous for everyone. To clarify, I couldn’t care less about “saving money” – my sole hope for these things was BETTER VIEWING OF OLDER MOVIES! However, mostly what we heard was stressful difficulty in playing the DVD’s with the D Skin on. So, we listened and we stopped putting them on, effective immediately. I am leaving the ones on that were already put on, to see in 4 months if the films are still in good shape. So, if they don’t work for you, take them off when you rent those films and place them in the box when you return the movie. To everyone that was frustrated by these things we extend our heartfelt apology. Just please recognize we tried them for the greater good. Ah well, not everything that sounds good works. Take for example, democracy. We will continue to try stuff that sounds promising; you cannot achieve change without brave attempts at new things.
A quick final note – we are revamping our Animation section in a major way, adding many new titles. They will be appearing in the New Additions section each week. Let us know what you think!
Flowery lovemuffins to you all,
Ray Winstone/Anthony Hopkins/John Malkovich/Robin Wright/Angelina Jolie/Dominic Keating/Crispin Glover (!)/Alison Lohman.
Directed by Robert Zemeckis.
* Beowulf the warrior dukes it out with Grendel, Grendel’s mommy, and many more in this re-telling of England’s oldest tale.
THE BIG BRAWL.
Directed by Jan Lomnicki
* Rise and fall of a famous Polish crook in the 1990’s.
THE DARJEELING LIMITED.
Owen Wilson/Adrien Brody/Jason Schwartzman/Angelica Huston/Bill Murray/Irfan Khan.
Directed by Wes Anderson.
* Tale of three brothers and their attempts to reconnect while traveling through India together.
DEATH AT A FUNERAL.
Matthew MacFadyen/Rupert Graves/Alan Tudyk.
Directed by Frank Oz.
* Family behaving quite poorly at a funeral.
Natalie Portman/Javier Bardem/Stellan Skarsgard.
Directed by Milos Forman.
* Aha, an appearance by newly crowned Academy award winning actor Javier Bardem! In this, he plays a monk causing trouble for the painter Goya during the Spanish Inquisition.
THE LAST EMPEROR.
John Lone/Joan Chen/Peter O’Toole.
Directed by Bernardo Bertolucci.
* Amazing 4 disc set of the 1987 film about the spectacular life of Pu Yi, the last Emperor of China.
POOR BOYS GAME.
Directed by Clement Virgo.
* Tale of racial tension involving a man who goes to jail for attacking someone in a hate-crime, and the unlikely bond that he forms with his victim’s father upon his release from jail. Then there is the boxing…
Michael Pitt/Keira Knightley.
Directed by Francois Gerard.
* A silkworm smuggler, 19th Century France and Japan, concubines, worms, obsessions, soft sexy clothing.
Anthony Hopkins/Christian Slater/John Turturro.
Directed by Anthony Hopkins.
* One of them tales about a writer whose characters start to appear in his real life. If there can be a real life of a character in a movie.
30 DAYS OF NIGHT.
Josh Hartnett/Ben Foster/Danny Huston.
Directed by David Slade.
* Vampires and shit, in Alaska. Ask Shila, she’s seen it like 30 times.
Ed Harris/Richard Masur.
Directed by Alex Cox.
* This one’s about mercenaries invading Nicaragua in the 19th century to install a new government and being financed by an American millionaire with a financial interest in the country! Gee, nothing changes…
HOTEL BABYLON: SEASON ONE.
* Sexy dark humor about life in a high-end hotel in the U.K.
THE SMURFS: SEASON ONE, VOLUME ONE.
* Ah, the Smurfs are here. With their smurfy smurfs that truly smurf the smurfing smurf. The smurfiness of this series, especially for adults, is that it will truly smurf you right in the smurf. And I mean that.
STATE OF PLAY.
* Mini-series, political thriller about bad stuff happening in London. Won major tv awards, and many of them.
Directed by Louise Osmond and Jerry Rothwell.
* In 1968, Donald Crowhurst, an inexperienced sailor, took part in an around-the-world yacht race. This is one side of the story of what went terribly, terribly wrong.
IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON.
Directed by David Sington.
* NASA’s surviving astronauts of the Apollo space missions tell their story. Featuring stupendous footage.
LIFE AFTER TOMORROW.
Danielle Brisebois/Martha Byrne/Sarah Jessica Parker.
Directed by Gil, Jr. and Julie Stevens.
* A tale of the girls who acted in the musical ANNIE and the effect that had on their lives and careers.
THE BACKYARDIGANS: TALE OF THE MIGHTY KNIGHTS.
CAILLOU: CAILLOU’S FAMILY FAVORITES.
* Kids animated entertainment.
MAX AND RUBY: BERRY BUNNY ADVENTURES.
* Max and Ruby come from the truly wonderful books of Rosemary Wells. She specializes in fantastical allegorical tales for children. My kids love her books.
............//FEATURED NEW ADDITIONS//............
THIS IS THE BEGINNING OF A MAJOR OVERHAUL OF OUR ANIMATION SECTION. PLEASE LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK!
COWBOY BEBOP: VOLUME ONE.
* Wild space western anime series following the adventures of a bounty hunter and his cohorts.
FULL METAL ALCHEMIST: SEASON ONE, VOLUMES ONE AND TWO.
* The main deal here is the rules of Alchemy, there can be no gain with something of equal value lost. In this case, a couple boys who try to bring their mother back from the dead using alchemy fail miserable and end each losing vital aspects of their lives (one of them loses an arm, and the other his entire body). They then begin their quest to find the Philospher’s Stone which may hold the key to the recovery of their selves.
THE GIRL WHO LEAPT THROUGH TIME.
* Super, tripped out time-travel animation story that won the first ever BEST ANIMATION award from the Japanese Academy.
THE OFFICE: SEASON 2 (USA VERSION).